When Jordan Jones signed for Sunderland on loan in January it was met with excitement and anticipation.
The Mackems had just bolstered their promotion bid by signing a man with European experience to his name. Indeed, when he first penned terms, there were glowing appraisals.
Glasgow Live reporter Mark McDougall told Chronicle Live that the 26-year-old had the abilities to light up the English third tier, saying: “In all honesty, he should stroll League One if his attitude is right when he goes down there.”
McDougall’s assessment couldn’t be truer. Since moving south of the border, Jones has been a revelation for Sunderland, scoring two goals and registering four assists in just five starts.
The Northern Ireland winger has been exceptional and, in his last three games, he’s proven why he was such a shrewd piece of business in January, registering an assist in each game and a solitary goal for his troubles.
However, on his return to the starting XI against Oxford United, he was a dynamo. It may have been Lynden Gooch, Aiden McGeady and Max Power who popped up with the goals on Friday afternoon but it was Jones who proved to be the standout figure.
The winger was withdrawn on 77 minutes but this was one of his most eye-catching displays yet.
He picked up another assist with a frightening piece of skill in the first half. He performed two stepovers and then nudged the ball past Jamie Hanson, beating him all ends up.
It was a dazzling moment, a genius piece of play which was arguably one of his finest flashes in the red and white of Sunderland so far.
Jones had the Oxford United left-back on strings throughout the entire contest, completing four dribbles and amassing three shots on goal. The forward also proved adept in the challenge, winning a considerable 13 ground duels from 16 attempted.
With Sunderland’s promotion hopes now well and truly in their own hands, they have unearthed a gem who could well fire them to the Championship.
The arrival of the Rangers attacker has been nothing short of game-changing for Lee Johnson’s team. He will be salivating over the prospect of unleashing him against Peterborough on Monday.